SEC orders lenders Goodpocket and Easymoney to cease operations

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Goodpocket and Easymoney — two unregistered entities that have been arrested for “unfair” collection practices — to halt their unauthorized lending operations.

In an order issued on January 18, the SEC en banc ordered Goodpocket and Easymoney to immediately cease engaging in, carrying on, promoting and facilitating any lending activity until they have obtained approval and authorization by the SEC.

The Companies, their owners, operators, promoters, representatives and agents were further prohibited from offering and advertising their lending activities via the Internet or any other media, and from removing any material implying such activities.

The SEC found that Goodpocket and Easymoney conducted lending activities despite not being registered as companies. As a result, the two companies do not have authorization certificates to operate as a loan or finance company.

Republic Act No. 9474, or the Credit Company Regulation Act of 2007 (LCRA), requires persons or entities operating as loan companies to register as companies and obtain SEC l necessary authorization to operate.

“Thus, the act of these online lending operators to offer and provide loans to the public constitutes an actual fraud which has been intentionally used to mislead the public into believing that they are legally authorized to engage in lending. ‘lending activity that is not and never has been the business,’ the SEC said.

The SEC has received complaints about these companies’ unfair collection processes. For example, these entities post defamatory statements against borrowers on social media and send these statements to their phone contacts.

“The acts of these unregistered online lending operators of illegally offering and providing loans to the public, charging high interest rates and subjecting its debtors to unfair treatment through abusive and even defamatory language in the collection of the amount loaned, have no place in a society that is governed by and faithfully adheres to positive laws,” the SEC said.

TSB

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